“It is very unfortunate that the supply of natural gas under our supply contract will now be stopped,” Gazum CEO Mika Weljanin said, adding that the company was “carefully preparing for this situation.”
Finland formally announced its intention to join NATO on Sunday, abandoning decades of neutrality and ignoring Russian threats of possible retaliation in a bid to bolster its security after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
Russian gas giant Gazprom did not immediately respond to CNN Business when asked for comment.
Finland It relied on Russia for nearly 68% of its natural gas consumption in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.
But Russia’s gas exports account for just 3% of the northern country’s total energy mix – which includes energy generated from biofuels and nuclear sources – according to data from Eurostat and the European Network of Gas Transmission System Operators.
Weljanin said Gazom “will be able to supply everyone.” [of its] Gas customers in the coming months “provided there are no outages in the gas transmission network, but added that the winter will be “difficult”.
Gasum’s vice president, Olga Vaisanen, told CNN on Friday that Finland also receives gas through its connection to the Baltic region via Estonia. The pipeline connects the Finnish gas transmission network with Estonia’s network, and allows it to rely on underground storage in Latvia.
Since then, EU officials, national governments and energy companies have been scrambling to see if the new payment mechanism conflicts with sanctions against Russia.
But the European Commission insists that directives it issued last week prohibit buyers from opening an account in rubles. Such a move would breach sanctions, European Commission spokesman Eric Mammer said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Anything beyond opening an account in the contract currency with Gazprombank and paying to that account, and then making a statement saying you … finished paying, conflicts with penalties,” he said.
Earlier this week, the European Union said it would spend 210 billion euros ($222 billion) to get rid of Russian oil and gas.
– Robert North contributed reporting.